8 Oct 2014

Second person tests negative for Ebola

10:16 pm on 8 October 2014

Spanish health authorities say another person being monitored in Madrid for Ebola has tested negative for the deadly disease.

The man, a Spaniard who had travelled from Nigeria, was one of several people hospitalised after authorities confirmed yesterday that a Spanish nurse had caught the disease in Madrid. A second nurse was also cleared of Ebola. Five people have been examined in hospital and three have yet to be cleared.

Spanish priest Manuel Garcia Viejo died shortly after being transferred to a Madrid hospital.

Spanish priest Manuel Garcia Viejo died shortly after being transferred to a Madrid hospital. Photo: AFP / Spanish Defence Ministry

The nurse was part of the team that had treated two priests who contracted Ebola in Africa and were repatriated to Spain. Some 30 other health workers and those who came in contact with her are now being monitored for symptoms, Reuters reports.

One was Manuel Garcia Viejo who died of Ebola in the hospital Carlos III de Madrid on 25 September. He had caught the virus in Sierra Leone, and was transferred to Spain three days before his death. The second had also worked in West Africa and died shortly after reaching Spain.

Manuel Garcia Viejo was kept in isolation during his treatment last month and officials said they followed a strict protocol designed to protect health workers and patients at the hospital.

The nurse who has since fallen ill only entered Garcia Viejo's room twice, once after his death, Antonio Alemany, the head of Madrid's primary health care services told a news conference.

The nurse went on holiday the day after Mr Viego died and had started to feel sick on 30 September, Mr Alemany said. The health worker is in a stable condition, the official said.

Spanish newspaper El Pais said the health worker was admitted to hospital on Monday morning with a high fever. Doctors isolated the emergency treatment room, the report said.

Ebola spreads through contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has the virus and the only way to stop an outbreak is to isolate those who are infected.

Some 3400 people have died in the outbreak - mostly in West Africa. Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have been hardest hit. There have been nearly 7500 confirmed infections worldwide, with officials saying the figure is likely to be much higher in reality.

US patient receives experimental drug

The first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States is now receiving an experimental drug for the disease.

A spokeswoman for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas said the drug, called brincidofovir, was developed by Chimerix Inc.

The patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, remains in critical but stable condition, the hospital said.

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